The Earth’s magnetic field is like an invisible force field around the planet, it protects living things on planet from dangerous solar rays by repelling charged particles. Earth’s magnetic field is not constant and it is continuously changing.
Undeniably, our planet’s past comprises hundreds of global magnetic reverses, where south and north magnetic poles switch places. And scientists are sure that another one of these swaps is about to happen. But the bigger question is when exactly will it happen?
According to researchers, during this occurrence the magnetic field won’t fall back to a complete zero, but will undergo a weaker and more composite form. During this reversal there is a possibility of simultaneous existence of multiple “north” and “south” magnetic poles and it may fall to 10% of the current-day strong point. Research shows that geomagnetic reverses happen a few times every million years on average. Nonetheless, the interval among reversals is very uneven and can range up to tens of millions of years.
The previous full reversal, called Brunhes-Matuyama, happened around 780,000 years ago. A momentary reversal, called Laschamp event, happened around 41,000 years ago. It persisted less than 1,000 years with the definite change of polarity lasting only 250 years.
Another question that comes to mind is ‘Can this swap trigger Power cut or Mass Extinction?’
Researcher are sure about one thing, that when this swap will occur, it will weaken shielding effect, letting sharp levels of radiation on and above the Earth’s surface.
Let’s suppose if it happens tomorrow, how much damage can it cause?
The upsurge in charged particles getting to the Earth would effect in augmented risks for satellites, aviation, and ground-based electrical infrastructure. Geomagnetic storms, compelled by the collaboration of anomalously enormous eruptions of solar energy with our magnetic field, give us an indication of what we can anticipate with a weakened magnetic shield.
The straightforward fact that we are “overdue” for a complete reversal and the fact that the Earth’s field is presently declining at a rate of 5% per century, has led to proposals that the field may swap within the next 2,000 years. But sticking to an exact date – at least for now – will be challenging and nearly impossible. But scientists are sure that this will happen.